Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to go on an all girls trip to Maldives. It was short…too short. Just 2 and a half days. But we had the time of our lives. We came back high and heady and promised ourselves that this needs to be rinsed and repeated at regular intervals. For us. For our sanity. For our insanity!
Who was in the Girl Gang?
Now this was a strange mix of girls, but we were no strangers. Four of us are friends from way back in high school. The other 6 are..well..try to keep up here. The other 6 are wives of our classmates from way back in high school!! Ever heard of such a strange mix? And nope, none of the husbands were allowed. That was the only rule on this trip.
So 10 girls of various ages, sizes, and shapes signed up for this almost 3 day trip to a beautiful beach destination. At least 6 of us had no clue how to swim!!!
How did we zero in on the place and dates?
Now that’s a story all by itself. Let me make it short. This group has been aspiring to go on a short trip for years now. We keep discussing it in our WhatsApp group.
One fine evening, we gathered for dinner, and the topic of a trip came up again. This time, the conversation turned more serious. Some of the ‘highly unlikely to go on a trip without the family’ girls suddenly had a loud voice, and definitely wanted to get away. In fact, the only rule was ‘no husbands allowed’. With amazing speed, a dedicated WhatsApp group was set up, and it was called, …’Husbands Not Allowed’.
Some girls had this tiny doubt though — what about husbands of other women whom we don’t know, and what if they are in Maldives on a ‘wives not allowed’ break…would they be allowed to join us?
The next decision point was around the travel dates. This conversation alone took up more than an hour at the dinner gathering. We had to wade through school exams times, planned family vacations, tons of festivals, project deadlines at work, availability of sufficient vacation days, potential long weekends to minimize vacation days needed, husbands being in town to baby sit the kids, scheduled surgeries for in-laws, and several other such personal commitments.
With 10 of us talking together, and hardly anybody listening, it is a wonder we even concluded this within an hour. Just for that, someone should give this group some award!!
And finally, the dates were picked. It was a long weekend. There were no exams or festivals in sight. The dates were locked.
Next up was fixing the destination. One of the girls was very clear. She said she wanted to visit foreign shores. No local trips for her, she was taking this first all girls trip completely international!!
That requirement set the tone nicely for the rest of us. We discussed all kinds of exotic locations from Croatia to Cambodia. From Alaska to Alabama. From Bahamas to Bahrain.
And finally, better sense prevailed, and we decided that we need to pick a place that can be reached fast. After all, we couldn’t possibly be travelling for most of the measly 3 days we had. This narrowed down the list considerably, and we quickly zeroed in on Maldives since the travel time from Bangalore was a piddly 2 hours!
Yay! Dates picked, place picked, travel group ready! Maldives, here we come!
Who will handle the booking?
As soon as this question came up, the group became deathly silent. No one had a clue about how to go about it. Finally, one of the girls was brave enough to raise a tentative hand and volunteer to take on this task. She had no clue what she was signing up for. It is one thing to organize a trip for the family. It is a whole different ball game to try and coordinate a scattered bunch of high strung women!
We have a wise saying back here that translates into ‘as easy as weighing a bunch of frogs’. Ever tried it? Take a weighing scale, place a bunch of frogs on it to weigh them. Before you can say ‘weight’, some frogs have jumped off. By the time you gather them, some others have jumped off. Organizing a trip for 10 women is similar. You just can’t get them all to agree, or even respond as needed.
But this brave girl, she pulled it off. After losing some hair, she found a travel agent, booked the flight tickets, and found us a fancy island resort!
Were There Unforeseen Circumstances?
Are there penguins in Antarctica? Well, of course there we unforeseen circumstances…all the time. For starters, one of the girls had to drop out, after all the bookings were made. She had unforeseen circumstances at home. It was odd for a bit, we had become a gang of nine.
But why fear when the girl gang is here. We learnt that another of us was coming down to Bangalore from the US at the exact same time. We smooth talked her into the trip, and before she could say ‘Maldives’, she was booked in, and things weren’t so odd anymore!!
There was another slight bump when one of the girls had to secure the family’s agreement to join us on the trip. The rest of the gang swooped down on the family, waxed eloquent about the benefits of a girls only trip, and, before the family could say ‘hmm, take care of our darling’, she was on the flight with us!
Again, there was a bit of a skirmish when one of the girls had a critical project deadline and was in danger of not getting her vacation approved. She was not one to be cowed down by such things as deadlines. She surfed the net, made a list of 10 excellent excuses for needing a vacation, had 9 excuses as backup, shot off a mail to her Manager with the best excuse written in the most believable manner, and voila!, she was on the plane with us too!
What Shall we Wear?
This one by far, was the trickiest of them all. None of us are bikini wearers. In fact, most of us hadn’t worn anything above the knee since high school. We were headed to Maldives…we HAD to wear proper attire.
One of us issued a simple instruction.
‘Don’t pack anything that needs to be folded over more than once.’
This started a panic wave. No one had anything that small in their wardrobe!! There was only one thing to be done to solve this problem urgently.
All of us headed out to the nearest shopping mall to shop together! You cannot even begin to imagine the scene in that mall that day. We took over the changing rooms, the mirrors, and almost tried to take over the billing counters too. The shop staff did not bat an eyelid. They took it all in their stride, and we rewarded them with tons of bills. We bought a lot of itsy bitsy stuff. Have you ever wondered why you pay more for less?
But the highlight of it all was the candy cane dress that we all bought to indulge in some serious twinning..er..what’s the word for 10 people twinning??
How do we get to the Airport?
10 of us had to arrive at the airport at the same time to check in together. Several of the husbands wanted to come along to see the wives off. But the ‘no husbands’ rule was already in motion. Their generous offer was refused, we booked ourselves into 3 cabs, and deposited ourselves at the airport.
We were already famous. The 2 hour journey to the airport was filled with calls from friends and family who had heard about this interesting trip, and wanted to wish us a wonderful time.
Amid all this cacophony, we arrived at the airport, clicked the mandatory selfie, and were off!
Check out the next post about the “Girl Gang Trip to Maldives”.
This story is published in Writers on the Run. If you’re interested in submitting your travel stories please visit our submission guidelines.